I believe problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and communication skills are critical for student success within and outside the classroom. I also believe the best way to achieve these outcomes is through student-centered evidence-based practices that promote healthy and engaging learning environments.
TEACHING SCIENCE COMMUNICATION WITH CLUBES DE CIENCIA COLOMBIA
Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are insufficient without the ability to effectively communicate solutions, ideas, and opinions. One of my main goals in teaching is for my students to improve their communication skills. This summer, I taught a week-long science club called “Science Reporters” for teenagers in Colombia with Clubes de Ciencia. My co-instructor and I developed hands-on activities to introduce our students to the importance of storytelling and art to convey complex concepts through the use of plays, comics, crochet, and video visuals.
Gallery of the work we did together during the week
"OUR MICROBES, OUR GLOBAL HEALTH" SUMMER PROGRAM & DISCUSSIONS
Discussion-based approaches are effective strategies to increase student engagement and develop analytical skills. In 2018, I developed an informal 6-week syllabus to teach undergraduate students about the human microbiome in a global context. I implemented short presentations and student-led discussions, including a series of debates around the ethics of both microbiome and global health research that led to long in-depth conversations. I also provided students with opportunities to practice communicating across cultural barriers. The students were paired with researchers all over the world. By stepping outside of their comfort zones, the students were able to learn about the real experiences of microbiome researchers across the globe.
Last meeting of our 2018 summer program for undergraduates
DELTA CERTIFICATE IN TEACHING & LEARNING
My Delta committee chair, Dr. Don Gillian-Daniel, and I after my certificate defense
Learning is not possible without creating a supportive and inclusive environment, where all individuals and their opinions are respected and valued. I am committed to preparing myself as best as I can to achieve that goal. In graduate school, I completed a Delta Certificate in Teaching & Learning. Within the program, I enrolled in classes like the "International College Classroom" and "Bridging the Achievement Gap", led a Brown Bag Buzz lunch discussion for trainees, and co-facilitated a Research Mentor Training program. I also implemented a “training the mentors” intervention for the Physics Learning Center during my teaching-as-research internship.